How much does it cost to install Christmas lights?
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Christmas Light Service Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Hiring a team of professional Christmas light installers is a great way to bring your Christmas light vision to life without the hassle and stress involved in getting there. A lot of work goes into installing the lights, including hauling them out of storage, making sure they are in working condition, and getting on a ladder to hang them up. You might consider hiring a professional team because they can hang the lights safely with professional-looking results. Since they have the appropriate equipment, hiring them saves you time and frustration if any problem arises. Perhaps the most convenient factor is that they also remove the decorations once the holiday season is over.
The national average Christmas lights installation cost is between $250 and $650. Most people pay around $450 to install LED Christmas lights on a 1,500 sq. ft. home. At the low end of the spectrum, you will pay around $100 per hour for labor only with the homeowner providing the lights. At the high end, you may pay up to $1,500 for installing Christmas lights on a 1,500 sq.f. house, and to the trees and landscape.
Cost to Install Christmas Lights
|Average Cost for Christmas Light Installation|
|National average cost||$450|
Christmas Lights Installation Price per Foot
Most companies set their pricing based on the footage of the roof line and charge by the foot. The average cost of installing Christmas lights ranges from $2 to $5 per foot for materials and labor. Labor makes up $1.50 to $3.50 per linear foot of the total price, whereas the strands add $0.50 to $1.50 to the final cost. In addition, prices vary based on how difficult it is to reach the roof because specialized equipment like lifts may be needed.
Cost to Install Christmas Lights by Home Size
The number of stories of the house affects the cost per square foot. You can expect to pay more for a three-story house than a one-story house. On average, the low-cost option for a 1,000 sq.ft. house with one story is $225 to $450. A 1,000 sq.ft. home requires 100 linear feet of lights. On the high end, a homeowner can expect to pay between $425 and $650 for 300 linear feet for a three-story, 1,000 sq.ft. home. The chart below illustrates the cost to install Christmas lighting on houses of different square footage.
|Square Footage||One Story||Two Stories||Three Stories|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$225 - $450||$350 - $525||$425 - $650|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$275 - $475||$425 - $630||$525 - $750|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$315 - $500||$515 - $750||$630 - $875|
|2,400 sq.ft.||$330 - $575||$525 - $825||$715 - $950|
|3,200 sq.ft.||$350 - $600||$615 - $915||$775 - $1,000|
|4,200 sq.ft.||$375 - $625||$630 - $950||$815 - $1,100|
Christmas Lights Price by Type
Many different Christmas lights are on the market that range between $5 and $60 per strand. The type you choose is likely influenced by the use of the lights, the location of installation, and your own personal taste. The chart below illustrates the different types of options on the market and their respective costs, followed by a description in the subsections below.
|Type||Cost per Strand (Materials Only)|
|Dome||$5 - $15|
|Incandescent||$5 - $20|
|LED||$6 - $60|
|C3||$7 - $30|
|C5||$7 - $40|
|C6||$7 - $40|
|C7||$7 - $50|
|C9||$10 - $60|
Dome Christmas Lights
The average cost for a strand of dome lights is $5 to $15. Dome strands are commonly used for accents and landscaping. They are smaller in size, have a round appearance, and come in various colors. They usually give off a soft wide-spread glow, making them appear like snowflakes, great for brightening up large spaces.
Incandescent Christmas Lights
You can expect to pay between $5 and $20 per strand for incandescent lights. These are the most common traditional choice for holiday lighting. They come in many different sizes, including mini incandescent lights. They work by incandescence, as the name implies, meaning light is produced by heat. An electrical current is passed through a filament, heating the filament until it produces light. These are a good option if you want a cost-effective type of light; however, they use more energy than other options and burn out much quicker.
LED Christmas Lights
LED lights average between $6 and $60 per strand. They produce light when electrons move around within their semiconductor structure. LED bulbs are brighter and last longer than others (100,000 hours). These are recyclable and use much less energy compared to the others, making them more energy-efficient. Unlike other options, if one LED light burns out or goes missing, the whole strand keeps working, and the light can simply be replaced. However, LEDs are more expensive, and so are the installation costs.
C3 Christmas Lights
The price for C3 lights averages between $7 and $30 per strand. These are the smallest strawberry-shaped bulb style, measuring around ½ inch in diameter and ⅘ inches in height. These bulbs are most commonly used to wrap around bushes and porches outdoors and for mantels, trees, or small displays indoors. They come in both incandescent and LED options.
C5 Christmas Lights
C5 lights cost between $7 and $40 per strand. C5 bulbs are very similar to the C6 models but are a bit smaller in size. These are suitable for both outdoor and indoor uses. C5 strands have more individual bulbs than the bigger style. They add a great touch to your outdoor garden. This model is offered in both LED and incandescent options.
C6 Christmas Lights
C6 Christmas lights are great for adding to outdoor trees and wreaths and indoor trees and mantles. They run between $7 and $40 per strand and have more bulbs than the C7 and C9 bulbs. They offer a fuller appearance when wrapped around your home or roof. These are also offered in both LED and incandescent options.
C7 Christmas Lights
Expect to pay between $7 and $50 per strand. C7 bulbs are a popular option for indoor use and on smaller residences such as condos and townhomes. They are very similar to the C9 model, except that they are smaller in size. These are offered in both LED and incandescent options. They are great for wrapping around trees and illuminating different areas.
C9 Christmas Lights
C9 lights cost between $10 and $60 per strand. C9 models are a popular option for roofs and window decorating and come in both LED and incandescent options. They are the larger size of the most traditional Christmas lights. The number refers to the size of the socket on the cord. This option is great for adding a bright emphasis on your home because it lets off a lot of light; however, you get fewer bulbs on the strand than the smaller sizes.
Average Cost for Christmas Light Installation
The cost to have Christmas lights installed varies depending on several circumstances. Some cost factors that influence the cost of installation include the linear feet of the roofline, the number of stories of the house, and the number of strands. The larger the house is, the more linear feet you will need, which means more labor and higher final costs. If you have a two-story home instead of a one-story home, additional equipment and more safety measures are needed for a higher cost.
A Christmas light installer's price for their services runs between $250 and $650. Homeowners pay approximately $450 for professional installation on a 1,500 sq.ft. home. Depending on the company, they will either charge by the project or per foot. Larger companies offer light installation packages that include consultation, strands, installation, and takedown.
The project can be completed by a professional light installation company decorating expert. The process begins with a visit to your home to discuss your decorating plan, followed by a visit to measure the roof. The professional will choose the right length of light strands and install decorations, timers, extension cords, and strands. They will also remove the lights when the time is right and make any replacements needed throughout the season. All you need to provide is the power.
If you prefer not to do a package and hire an individual by the hour to do the installation, you are looking at paying approximately $60 to $100 per hour. Approximately 65% of the project’s cost is for labor, and the other 35% is for materials.
For this type of installation, you need to make sure you have enough electrical outlets to power them. If you require more, you can hire an electrician to install an outlet at an average rate of $120 to $200 per outlet. Depending on the size of the home and the types of lights, you may need to install more than one outlet. Most homeowners opt for purchasing a timer that automatically turns them on and off at scheduled times. Timers can be purchased for $12 to $50 each. If you require an electrician to install the timer, it typically costs $40 to $120 an hour.
Cost to Remove and Install Christmas Lights
Christmas light removal costs between $125 and $350 per project or $0.50 to $0.65 per linear foot. Most companies include the cost for removal in the installation packages. The date for removal will be discussed during your initial consultation. If this date has to be switched due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances, the company will contact you immediately. Whether they are your own or provided by the company, the price of removal remains the same.
How Much Do Christmas Lights Cost to Run?
Homeowners can expect to pay an additional cost of $5 to $75 per month on their utility bills during the holiday lighting season. The number and type of lights directly influence the cost. If you opt to purchase the old-style incandescent bulbs, you can expect to pay a lot more than LED bulbs. A string of 25 incandescent C9 bulbs, the big, plump bulbs used outdoors, use approximately 175 watts of electricity to run for 45 days, assuming a 12 hour day operation. A comparable string of C9 LED bulbs uses 2.4 watts of electricity run for the same time.
How Many Feet of Christmas Lights Do I Need for My House?
It’s important to be sure you have the proper amount of Christmas lights for the size of your home. For instance, if the home is 1,500 sq.ft., you need at least 150 linear feet to fill the space. If you are only lining the eaves of your home, it is best to start with at least 60 feet of icicle or string lights. Another 10 to 12 feet will be needed for each awning. Measuring the awnings and eaves gives you the most precise calculations if you are buying new decorations. When measuring eaves, measure from the outside edge of the fascia to the outer end of the wall. For awnings, take both height and width measurements to determine how many are needed. The table below provides an idea of the average amount of lights you need based on the square footage of your home.
|Square Footage of Home||Linear Feet Needed|
|1,000 sq.ft.||75 - 125|
|1,500 sq.ft.||125 - 175|
|2,000 sq.ft.||175 - 225|
|2,400 sq.ft.||215 - 265|
|3,200 sq.ft.||295 - 345|
|4,200 sq.ft.||395 - 445|
Cost to Hang Christmas Lights on High Roofs
The installation price for high or challenging roofs (around 16 feet high or more) will often be around $3.50 to $6 per linear foot. If your home has many levels and eaves that are difficult to reach, you can expect to pay around 20% to 25% above regular installation costs due to the extra equipment and safety measures that installers have to put in place. There can also be extra costs associated with homes with more than one story or an abnormally high roof. Extended ladders, special equipment like lifts, and additional safety measures may be needed when working on these homes. Clips are used to hold them, adding a small cost to the process.
Cost to Put Up Christmas Lights in a Balcony
Another way to show Christmas cheer is by adding lights to a balcony, which costs about $50 to $75 for an eight-foot balcony. Since several strands of light are often used, it may cost more per foot than adding one strand to a roof or other surface. The best situation will be one where an outdoor power outlet is available. However, an extension cord can be used to run them to an indoor outlet temporarily if safety guidelines are followed. The same lights used for roofs are often suitable for balconies, such as C7 and C9 bulbs. The installation professional can use clips to install them onto the balcony, regardless of the material.
How Much Does It Cost to Wrap a Tree in Lights?
The cost to wrap an outdoor tree in lights ranges from $75 to $125 in labor for a small tree of about six feet and $300 to $1,500 for a huge tree that is 28 feet in height. For a medium-sized tree that is 12 to 18 feet tall, the price will be around $125 to $250. This varies from one project to the next. For instance, when removing trees, a small tree can be up to 30 feet, while a medium is up to 60 feet, and a large can be even more massive than that. With Christmas light installation, the price depends on the shape, height, and type of tree being decorated.
Adding extra lights increases the price. Small trees can have a better aesthetic and cost less. Large trees tend to be more expensive depending on the number of strands used. For instance, a two-story home is 28 feet on average. If the tree is that tall, the cost is more expensive since additional tools and safety considerations are needed. For the largest trees, a lift may be needed for safe work. This alone may cost $400 to $700 for a one-day job.
Christmas Light Rental Cost
If you do not want to spend money on purchasing lights for your home, you can rent them from a local Christmas light installation company. The average price for light rental is $200 to $600, including installation. You can expect to pay a little more for LED bulbs ($550 for 150 linear feet installed) than incandescent options ($375 for 150 linear feet installed).
Renting them can be more pricey than an installation-only package that uses your own lights. This option saves you the hassle of purchasing your own lights, taking them down, and storing them for years. Aside from the materials, these rental packages also include set-up, takedown, and hassle-free maintenance for any issues.
Permanent Christmas Lights Cost
As the name states, permanent Christmas lights are permanently installed exterior lighting for any home or business. These stay up year-round and cost an average of $3,000 to $3,500. They come in unlimited colors and animation options and are programmable by a phone app. You have the option of controlling them for every holiday or special occasion. Homeowners who opt to purchase permanent lights eliminate the hassle and stress of hanging holiday lights every year and can enjoy nighttime lighting all year round. The permanent models are most commonly LED lights, which last up to 100,000 hours, or five years. If a light goes out or maintenance is required, a small fee is charged for replacement.
Color-Changing Christmas Lights
Color-changing Christmas lights add extra flair to a home and cost from $18 to $60 per strand. These LED bulbs of green, blue, and red create a large array of colors by switching on different combinations using a microcontroller. These are not as common as traditional options but offer a way to make a home stand out in the holiday season. They are green, blue, and red because the eyes are attuned to these wavelengths and see different colors based on the combinations. For instance, to make yellow, the red and green lights are activated, but for cyan, blue and green are used.
Homeowners may choose color-changing lights based on the ability to customize them. Instead of coming in a few specific colors, users can select hues from the entire color spectrum. These are LED, which also makes them more energy-efficient and long-lasting for homeowners.
Smart Christmas Lights Price
The typical strand of smart Christmas lights range in price from $20 to $200. They are an innovative and convenient option typically associated with LED models. Some of the less expensive versions have a remote to control them, but the more robust offerings can be operated using an app on a smartphone or tablet. They come in various types, such as string, strip, fairy, and more. Many of them also have color-changing features to make them stand out. Homeowners can make changes to the display from any location when using lights that operate via an app. Some of them are also voice-activated through Google, Alexa, or Siri.
Their main benefit is the ability to turn them on or make changes to their function without being near the lights. These long-lasting bulbs are not affected by a single light going out. Some of these come with various effects, such as making them flicker or creating a cascading look like snow.
Outdoor Lighted Christmas Decorations
Adding Christmas lights to trees, balconies, and roofs is one way to celebrate the holiday. However, there are many other options to make your home stand out. Many other holiday yard decorations are available, such as LED nativity scenes, LED yard sculptures of nutcrackers, gift boxes, reindeer, and accents like LED wreaths.
The LED nativity scene is an excellent way to show the reason for the season and comes in prices ranging from $100 to $550 depending on the intricacy of the scene and how much space it takes up. Other yard accents can be small or large and come in a variety of prices. For instance, a three-foot LED snowman could run as little as $40, while a four-foot commercial-grade acrylic snowman with polar white LEDs might cost as much as $975.
Individuals with hedges or bushes could consider adding holiday lights and other items like ribbons to really get into the Christmas spirit. Mix them with natural holly, wreaths, and other items that bring a feel of winter to the home. The presence of lights looks great anywhere, but especially in areas that experience snow. Keep in mind that the entire yard can include them. You just might need to get a bit creative in the process.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Battery-Operated Christmas Lights
The average cost for battery-operated Christmas lights is $8 to $45 per strand. Investing in battery-powered options can be a great enhancement choice for many homeowners. While they help eliminate limitations caused by far-away power outlets and tangled-up extension cords, battery-powered lights offer many other benefits. Some benefits include saving you money on your energy bills by eliminating the need to plug into a power source and being able to put them wherever you desire. They are suitable for indoor and outdoor use and run at a low voltage, meaning that shock is extremely unlikely. They are very safe to use.
Light Timer Installation
Timers can be purchased for $12 to $50 each with an installation fee of $60 to $100 per hour. Any homeowner that installs Christmas lights should consider purchasing a light timer. A light timer is a small device that consists of a programmable, automatic on and off switch. You can set the timer to automatically turn them on at dusk and off at dawn. This eliminates the worry of leaving your lights on overnight or not turning them on when the sun goes down. These timers are beneficial in controlling how long they are on. Those wrapped around trees and in gardens should not be left on for prolonged periods or overnight. They can easily overheat and potentially cause a fire.
Christmas Tree Light Service
The average Christmas tree light service cost is $200 to $400, including materials and labor. In addition to hiring a professional company to install your outdoor Christmas lighting, you can also hire them to install your indoor Christmas tree lights. This eliminates one hassle during the holidays. Similar to outdoors, indoor services include design consultation, installation, maintenance, and removal services.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- When to install lights. If you opt into having them installed before their busy season starts (after Thanksgiving), most companies offer a 10% to 20% discount on their packages. It is also a good decision to contact your local installation company many months before Christmas because light installation companies book very quickly.
- DIY. Putting up Christmas lights can be a DIY project and will save you money in the long run. However, hiring a professional can be great for various reasons. You avoid having to get up on a ladder, deal with tangled wiring and outlet location, and take them down after the holidays.
- Where to install lights. It is a good savings tip to install them only in the most visible areas. Most homeowners install Christmas lights to display for all to see, so there is no point in installing them in those places that are not visible. The most visible area is the front of the home.
- C8 lights. While lights range from C1 through C9, C8 bulbs are no longer used today. These were popular in the 1950s and had a silica interior coating and a color that was made to avoid scratching, chipping, and fading. They had a flashing mechanism inside that made an audible sound.
- Regulations. It is important to check the regulations in your area as some areas and neighborhoods have limitations on the amount and type of Christmas lights.
- How much does holiday light installation cost?
Most homeowners pay between $800 and $1,500 for holiday light installation. The price depends on the type of strand, kind of bulb, and how extensive the holiday light display is intended to be.
- Do Christmas lights use a lot of electricity?
They can increase your electricity bill by $5 to $75 per month. Using LED bulbs lowers the impact of holiday lighting on your utility bills.
- Is it OK to put tape on Christmas lights?
You should refrain from using tape to hang up your Christmas lights because it can be a safety issue. If they get hot, there is the potential of starting a fire by igniting the tape.
- What is the average cost to have Christmas lights installed?
On average, homeowners pay approximately $450 for professional Christmas light installation on a 1500 sq. ft. home, with an average range between $250 and $650.
- How do professionals install Christmas lights?
Professionals install Christmas lights using tools including a ladder, light clips, extension cords, and wiring.
- How long should you leave up Christmas lights?
The duration in which you leave your Christmas lights up is entirely up to you. Most homeowners start to remove them after New Year's Day.
- How do you price Christmas decorations?
You can price out Christmas decorations by looking through the local flyers or online via home improvement store websites.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.